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Shanghai Restaurant (Oakland) very much alive and kicking


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Shanghai Restaurant (Oakland) very much alive and kicking

Gary Soup | Oct 9, 2006 01:00 AM

Buried in a thread below, a poster asserted, without subsequent challenge, that Shanghai Restaurant in Oakland had closed permanently since the branch in Berkeley opened. Unwilling to believe this, I headed over there for lunch today.

Shanghai Restaurant (Shanghai Xiao Chi, 930 Webster St. in Oakland Chinatown) is definitely open, with the same front of the house staff and, as far as I know, same people in the kitchen. The short woman with the glasses expressed astonishment and dismay when I told her there was a rumor of it closing.

I ordered one of my standard Shanghai lunch permutations, xiaolong bao, salty soy milk soup and shengjian bao (the first time I've tried the latter at SXC-Oak).

The xiaolong bao today at Shanghai Xiao Chi was as good as I've had there, meaning vey good. The size, delicacy of the wrapper, texture of the filling and quantity and savoriness of the "soup" were about as good as you could reasonably expect this side of Shanghai and I found myself wishing I had ordered two longs instead on just one.

The xian doujiang was about as I remembered from before, perhaps a bit better. It had no brine shrimp in it, but had the obligatory bits of you tiao, and the soy milk was well curdled from the pickled vegetables. It required only a little kiss from the chili pot to be a very satisfying version.

The shengjian bao weren't as good as I expected, but then I didn't expect they would be (forgive me the "Irish Bull" here!) They were pretty things, nicly browned on the bottoms and studded with chives and enough sesame seeds to blanket a House of Bagels bagel, but overly large and, especially disappointing, lacking in chin-drizzling juiciness. Someday I'll learn not to order these things in the US, because there seems to be a fear of using the politically incorrect largesse of pork fat that makes them so satisfying on the streets of Shanghai. (It's small consolation that some of the sit-down restaurants in Shanghai also seem to suffer from the same timidity).

xian doujiang:

shengjian bao:

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